Tissue engineering is making a progress toward reproduction of original tissue-like constructs to regenerate a damaged tissue. Many studies have been focusing on manufacturing tissue-engineered constructs (TECs), but only few technologies are available to evaluate the conformation and volume of TECs, which critically influences successful implantation of them in vivo. In this study, a laser scan system is developed and applied to measure the volume of irregular objects of engineered cartilages. In the system, the laser beam starts to scan surface of a rotating object at one end, and moves to the other end with a regular interval (Δh) along the rotation axis to repeat the scanning process. Each scanning process yields hypothetical segments of the object and a computer program determines the shape and volume of them to construct 3 dimensional conformations. The total volume of the object is then obtained by summating the volumes of all segments. The accuracy of the laser scan system was verified using three types of regular objects, TECs and irregular objects by comparing the results with those obtained from the geometrical method (absolute value), image-based system and hydrostatic weighing method. The laser scan system showed more than 98% accuracy with less than 1% standard error for all three types of objects, while the imagebased system showed approximately 95∼97% accuracy. These findings suggest that the laser scan system is a very accurate and reproducible tool to evaluate 3D conformation of TECs to be implanted in vivo.
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